I didn’t know what was wrong. I just kept thinking…
“you are such a loser Lindsay”
“You are just sitting here doing nothing”
These tiny, rather quiet, sneaky thoughts kept telling me that I wasn’t going to be ok, that I was never going to leave my couch, that God didn’t care, and that I better get it together. The problem was that I had no idea what to get together. I was paralyzed by discouragement and had no idea what was wrong. Well until a friend called
“Lindsay, what’s up”
Me trying to put my happiest voice on and simply respond like I always do, with cheer I said:
“Hey friend what is going on?”
After about 7 minutes of normal chat, he stopped and “randomly” said
“Lindsay, are you dealing with discouragement?”
I burst into tears, kind of shocked that I was crying, I realized he must have hit the nail on the head.
He then said: “you don’t have to pretend with me.”
The truth is, I couldn’t name it, (what was wrong) but he could. And that is good, because when it is named, it can be dealt with through prayer. But when we don’t know why we feel a certain way it’s impossible to deal with it because we can’t see clearly.
He then said “I could tell on Sunday”
I thought, that was 5 days ago, how could I have been dealing with discouragement and not have even realized it. I thought I was acting really happy on Sunday, I thought I was happy on Sunday.
I wasn’t “feeling” sad, but I was sad, deep down, I was discouraged, but again didn’t really know.
He then said “self pity is the door way to discouragement which then leads to sadness and sorrow and left unchecked can take us right into depression.
And when he said that, I thought, THAT IS IT, Self Pity. UGHHHHHHHHHHH..
Instead of saying NO to self pity and refusing to agree, I must have agreed with it at some point. AGAIN.
At the end of Hebrews in verses 18 and 19 it talks about “taking hold of the hope that is set before us that in it we may be greatly encouraged”
Encouraged, the opposite of discouraged! Yes.
And then it says “we have this hope as an anchor for our soul, firm and secure.”
Hope as in, “no I won’t always be sitting here on my couch, confused, feeling a bit lost in life, wondering will I ever even leave my couch, will I really get married, be healthy, learn to surrender, stop trying to figure things out?”
No “thoughts in my head”, I won’t listen to your lies, I will instead choose, HOPE that Jesus will help me into what He has next” because His word says: “we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us”. (Romans 5:2-5)
Hope does not disappoint. I love that.
We must do as the Bible instructs and take every thought captive. “Self pity” or “feeling sorry for ourselves” will just take us to a bad place, it won’t help us, it just won’t even if it feels justified in the moment.
Now what I am not saying is that we should pretend we are ok if we are not, I am all about Christian counseling, prayer counseling. Who am I kidding I love counseling and sozo prayer and codependency classes and breaking free from shame classes, YES get the help you need, but let’s also remember that there is even Hope in the help!
Because the Truth is “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” So let’s hope, hope, hope and hang tightly onto hope no matter what!
The other Truth is that there is a time for everything, Solomon teaches us. So, I believe that there is a time to grieve our pain, losses and suffering in life, but there is also a time to HOPE. For more on TRUE LIVING HOPE check out www.HopeHeals.com a ministry very dear to my heart that embodies this entire idea much better than I can write it.